Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 20-26 January 2020

By Londonist Staff Last edited 6 months ago

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 20-26 January 2020

All week

Winter Lights is back in Canary Wharf. Photo: @londonartcritic

WINTER LIGHTS: Every evening until Saturday, Canary Wharf's Winter Light installations are illuminated. Follow the map to tick them all off, or just wander around the area and see what you can spot — a word waterfall, illuminated benches and psychedelic trees are among the highlights. Here's our guide to eating and drinking in the area to help you make a night of it. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, until 25 January

ART OF INNOVATION: Last chance to see Science Museum's free display The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter. It looks at the ongoing relationship between science and the world around us, and features artworks by Hockney, Hepburn and Turner, among others. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, until 26 January

Monday 20 January

Play Bajingo Bingo at the Vagina Museum

GEORGE IV: Gresham College marks 200 years since King George IV's accession to the throne with a talk about his reign. Did he have any real impact or leave any mark on the fast-changing, industrialising world around him? During his lifetime, the monarch went from being viewed as powerful, to being someone with little influence, and Professor Stella Tillyard talks about why this was. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

BAJINGO BINGO: Play bingo while learning about the vagina at (where else?) The Vagina Museum. Bajingo Bingo is similar to regular bingo, with chances to win prizes — except this time, some knowledge of the misunderstood body part would come in useful. The Vagina Museum (Camden Market), £3, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

MEET THE AUTHOR: This month's Gothic Book Club has a special guest in the form of author Sharon Wright. She discusses her new book, The Mother Of The Brontës, a biography of the Cornish gentlewoman Maria Branwell, and her unlikely romance which resulted in the births of the Brontë sisters. Strawberry Hill House (Twickenham), free, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Tuesday 21 January

Delve into some north London history

NORTH LONDON: Hear a free talk about the growth of north London. Using John Roque's 1746 map as a starting point, the talk covers the development of the area from then through to the present day. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

DEATH CAFE: Gentle Dusk and Age UK Islington team up to host a Death Cafe. Anyone's welcome to go along and talk about the tricky topic of death in an friendly and welcoming environment, whether it's your own death, or that of a loved one. Discuss your fears over tea and cake, or just listen to others talking about theirs. The Charterhouse (Clerkenwell), free but £2.50 donation encouraged, just turn up, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 22 January

Catch comedian Jake Farrell in action

CARS: Brendan Cormier, curator of Cars: Accelerating the Modern World, gives a free talk about the development of the exhibition. Find out why some of the specific vehicles were chosen to feature in the exhibition, due to the impact they had on the world of motoring. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 1pm-1.45pm

COMEDY: Jake Farrell headlines this week's budget-friendly comedy night at The Taproom. He performs his Edinburgh show, Limits, one final time before turning his attention to new material for this year. The Taproom (Islington), £1, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Thursday 23 January

Skateboarding and the City at UCL

SKATEBOARDING AND THE CITY: Hear from Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture & Urban Culture, about the history of skateboarding. Find out how the sport developed from 1960s California, through to later skate parks and competitions, to becoming a whole culture and an Olympic sport. Darwin Lecture Theatre (Gower Street), free, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

CIVIL SERVICE CHOIR: Treat your ears to a free lunchtime performance by the Civil Service Choir. They mark the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season with excerpts from Bach’s Baroque masterpiece, Christmas Oratorio. St John's Smith Square, free, book ahead, 1.05pm

DANE BAPTISTE: Comedian Dane Baptiste is back on the London circuit, and there's a chance to see his freshest material at a work in progress show. In it, he talks about the ever-growing (chocolate) chip on his shoulder. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Friday 24 January

Find out about the impact the first world war had on London

NEW NORMAL: How did the first world war change London? Members of the London Military Museums Network use the stories of both soldiers and civilians to show how the conflict affected the capital and its residents. The talk ties in to an exhibition in the museum's atrium. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

SOPHIE DUKER: It's Sophie Duker's turn to showcase her latest comedy material, ahead of her appearance at Edinburgh Festival in the summer. She's been nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer award in the past, so we're expecting good things in this new show about old hags, sexy stepmothers, deadly sins and magic pussy. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

FLEETWOOD MAC: The Blues Kitchen house band performs the biggest hits of Fleetwood Mac, in a tribute to the blues rock band's 30 year career. Hear tracks from Rumours and Lies, interspersed with other vintage soul, blues and rock tunes. Blues Kitchen (Camden), £4.52, book ahead, 9pm-2am

Saturday 25 January

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch without leaving your house

SLOW MARATHON: The Museum of Walking plans to undertake four seasonal slow marathons around the Borough of Greenwich in 2020, the first of which takes place over two days this weekend. Join in for one day, or both, and help to define the final route while walking past World Heritage Sites and crossing the Meridian Line.  Greenwich, £5, book ahead, 25-26 January

BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH: Help the RSPB keep an eye on the numbers of wild birds in London by taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. If you're lucky enough to have a garden or outside space, spend an hour counting and recording the numbers and types of birds that visit it, then report back to the RPSB. The charity then uses the data to spot any patterns, anomalies, or any species that may be in danger. Free, 25-27 January

THE LION KING: The 2019 remake of The Lion King is the focus of this Family Film Club. Get there early to take part in a musical and creative workshop before the film, where you can have a go at playing African instruments, and make your own African-inspired artwork. Harris Academy South Norwood, £5, book ahead, 10am-1pm

Sunday 26 January

There's a day of free activities at Wellcome Collection

MISBEHAVING BODIES: As the Misbehaving Bodies exhibition comes to a close, Wellcome Collection hosts a day of related activities. Settle in for film screenings, workshops, performances and discussions, on on the themes of illness, care, death and mourning. Watch short film Dying Under Your Eyes, see a performance of responses to the question 'do you consider yourself healthy?', and see a spoken word performance by St Christopher's Hospice. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, book for some activities/just turn up for others, 10am-6pm

FURNITURE FLEA: Browse all manner of vintage furniture at the Camden Furniture Flea. Sure, chairs and tables are for sale, but you could also walk away with a far more manageable print, radio, record player, figurine, lampshade or mirror. Cecil Sharp House (Camden), £4/£2, book ahead, 10.30am-4.30pm

CHARLES I: Every year on the Sunday closest to the anniversary, the English Civil War Society marks the anniversary of the death of King Charles I. There's a parade from St James's Palace to The Mall, and then onto Banqueting House in Whitehall, followed by a short service. It's free to watch, and has been taking place for over 40 years. Whitehall, free, just turn up, 11.25am

Last Updated 17 January 2020